Commitmentof a mother.

Hi guys. 🙂

I’ve been thinking about finally writing some other posts, other than my usual series, and looking forward to doing it, and I planned to do some more writing over the weekend, though, quite predictably, I was never able to publish anything as it was my Mum’s and my brother’s birthday, also I had some rather bad anxiety and quite a lot was going on here. Nevertheless, both my Mum, and one of the recent writing prompts gave me an idea for a post. One of the recent words of the day at Word Of The Day Challenge was commit, and recently me and my Mum talked about commitment and dedication in relation to my grandma. I’d like to write about my Mum, and how I admire her, and thus also generally about mothers and motherhood.

There are lots of things that I admire in my Mum, but the one I would like to focus on now is her commitment.

Her commitment and dedication to motherhood, to us, her children, and to our whole family. I really don’t know where we’d be if not Mum, and I’m not just talking about the fact that she gave birth to my siblings and me, but that she is like an adhesive for our family, and keeps together us and everything in our house and family. I am happy to say that I have a good relationship with my Dad, but it has never been as deep as my connection with Mum. And even if I was ony to say on behalf of myself, I also don’t know where I’d be without my Mum.

Being disabled, I need more help with many things than an average person, sometimes a lot more, and my Mum has always been there for me, ready to help me out with really different things. Even when I was away from home at the boarding school, she always tried ther best to find the time and possibility to visit me or take me home for the weekend while she didn’t really have to as there was a rather big distance between the school and my home. She also tried her best to make my life easier there, and when there was a time I was emotionally abused by some of the staff she was the one to notice it despite the distance between us, and she was the one to make it stop. I’ve heard many very positive comments about my Mum at school, both from the staff and my friends, that I am really lucky to have such a committed and involved Mum. Not that other kids didn’t of course, though such situations also happened sometimes as they always do, that some children came from families where they weren’t loved, but because she did so much more than she had to, and her involvement was very visible. I also have mental health difficulties, since years but that both me and some of my family became more aware of only in recent years, and while my Mum doesn’t always understand it, she’s still there for me, if not in any other way than at least happy to help me practically. She’d been helping me to get to therapy, picking my prescriptions, she is my “spokesperson” in all sorts of new or difficult situations when I feel anxious or whenever I’m just not fully able to stand for myself, and I appreciate help hugely. She’s done so many big and little things for me that I probably wouldn’t be able to acknowledge all of them in a single post even if I dedicated it only for such purpose. 😀

My Mum is definitely a type of altruist who gets easily engaged in what she does and is very responsible and caring, that’s her nature, but sometimes I wonder whether all those commitments she has made over the years since she’s become a wife and a mother, whether they sometimes don’t make her feel unfulfilled in other areas, like her professional career for example, or her social life that would extend beyond her family.

My parents got married when she was 22. Mum was learning to be a beautician and after that tried studying pedagogy but didn’t really have a heart for it and didn’t feel motivated so quit it and then, two years after their wedding, they had me. They had to go a long way until they realised that I’m blind, it wasn’t like that I was born and they were told that, my blindness was congenital but well doctors just didn’t notice it and left my parents to figure it out on their own, and as it has turned out there were some other things we had to figure out blindly, pun intended, even much later on, but that’s another thing actually. Anyway, when Mum finally did figure out that I’m blind, soon after Olek arrived so with two little kids and one disabled she didn’t even think about looking for a job, despite at those very beginnings the financial situation in our family was really not the best, and by the way it’s also partly thanks to Mum that now Dad has the job he has and that our situation is much better nowadays. But Mum, even when I went to the boarding school at the age of 5, still was a full time Mum and still is, even though both me and Olek are adults and Zofijka can mostly take care of herself during the day, and so can I for the most part. And we really appreciate her for that, but as I said, I wonder whether she doesn’t feel a little disappointed with her life sometimes, having so many commitments, many of which she really didn’t have much choice about.

They say though that you usually copy your parents in your life choices. ANd that would be true for my Mum, because the thing was very similar with my grandma.

She is a very intelligent, cultured lady, had great ambitions as a young woman, got degrees in such diverse fields as food technology and theology, but she is also a very gentle, sensitive, idealistic and actually naive person, believing that everyone is like her and has the same values. And during her food technology studies met my grandad – also a very intelligent, cultured, strong, manly, fiendishly ambitious and versatile man. – They were madly in love with each other like most couples are at the beginning, the thing was that each of them had their own dreams that were quite different from each other’s, and my grandad was incredibly stubborn and domineering, to the point that in our current standards I suppose we could call it abusive. His dream has always been farming, because of his huge interest in agriculture, so it was clear to him that his wife will have to adjust and live in the sh*thole and dedicate herself to him and breeding hens to help him grow his business.

I love my grandad, have had a pretty close relationship with him, he has always stood for me when I most needed it, even when no one else did, and I always feel very safe with him and like we have a strangely deep connection and understanding for each other, and overall he’s one of the people I admire most in my life, particularly for how comprehensively skilled he is, but although he has mellowed a whole lot in his old age, I feel really bad about him being so bossy and tyrannical to my grandma. He wouldn’t let her go anywhere on her own, he decided what she should do or not do, with whom she can meet, he forbade her to drive anywhere, have her own work or money or any personal life that he wouldn’t be able to fully control. I guess even if she was assertive she wouldn’t be able to resist this and stand for herself, but she wasn’t, at all. He even didn’t let her to go to church on her own, only when it suited him and he would be able to drop her there, which was a big pain for her because my grandma has always been a very devout Christian. Grandad was brought up in a Christian family too, but it was never a priority for them and I guess he was too proud to be able to live through Christian faith where you have to be humble and rely on God rather than on yourself. So he wasn’t really keen on that which was also a big problem for grandma. As the children arrived her life was focused only around the household/farm, selling eggs with grandad and mothering the four kids. Later on grandad started drinking too much alcohol and has once tried to commit suicide, and while it’s no longer a problem and he doesn’t drink at all, it used to be something that grandma really struggled with and couldn’t accept, and tried to desperately hide it from children in which she succeeded as my Mum only learned about his alcoholism when she was an adult. At some point as I told you grandma got a degree from theology and wanted to work as a religion teacher or something like that but then one of my aunts was born and there were quite awful complications and she was a very vulnerable and sickly baby even though now thankfully she’s thriving and perfectly fine.

Now my grandparents’ relationship is less stormy, as I said my grandad has mellowed a lot both to his wife and to his children and all his grandchildren love him dearly, though they’re certainly not madly in love with each other and grandma is still suffering because of grandad’s cynical/haughty approach regarding faith and that he treats her like she’s very inferior to him, but he does appear to love her in some way and cares for her in that controlling, possessive way as some people do since they can’t otherwise.

She has certainly had her fair share of sufferings, but, most importantly here, has been always so very committed, to her husband, children, and every other responsibility that life has placed on her. In a way I admire her for that, but on the other hand, the extend to which my grandma commits herself is sort of strange to me and I feel like I couldn’t do that without feeling frustrated. just every minute. She doesn’t actually have her own life. Her life evolves around her children and grandchildren, caring for her husband, their work, praying, and now there is a little bit of place for gardening, but that’s it.

My Mum is not like that, my Mum is stronger and more assertive, but still has that extreme ability to dedicate herself to others.

It makes me wonder how marriage and motherhood can really change you and your life so much. When it comes to me, I’m happy to help people, but I really don’t think I could commit myself to someone to such an extend and so unconditionally, it feels rather overwhelming and strangling. I still most probably have a fair bit of ife ahead of me and I know things can change, but so far I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to have children, and even if I would want at some point, I most probably wouldn’t be able to be a good mother for many different reasons. But I really admire my Mum in that, and other mothers who do it like this, silently and without shouting how altruistic they are, and I know that if ever my Mum would need someone to commit themselves to her, I will try my best to do it since I owe her so much. I am proud to say that now I can at least listen to her, and that even though it’s usually her who is the listener for others, I often listen to her when she has problems, and I  am the first person she goes to since I got out of the boarding school if she wants to talk about some stuff that affects her deeply. i am happy she trusts me and that I can give her at least that.

What do you think about commitments in relation to motherhood/family life? What are your experiences with your mum, or with your own parenting if you are a parent? Are you deeply committed to anyone, be it in a relationship or whatever? If you’re not a parent, do you feel like you could dedicate yourself to your children full time or is your professional/social/any other aspect of your life so important to you that you couldn’t give it up? 🙂

Alexander Rybak ft. Superbarna – Dyrene I Afrika (Animals In Africa).

Hi> 🙂

I have something special for you guys today. A children’s classic from Norway!

I must say I really do like to listen to some children’s songs in other languages sometimes, it’s one of the easiest ways to catch some interesting vocabulary, and it can be funny.

Those of you who like to watch Eurovision most probably remember the 2009 finalist Alexander Rybak. For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember him, he is a Belarussian-Norwegian singer/songwriter and he also plays violin and piano. At that time around 2009 after he won the Eurovision, he was pretty popular in Poland for a while, not so much now, but he’s still liked by some. I was kinda reintroduced to his music a few years after he won by one of my blind Polish friends who was crushing on him. I didn’t get the crush, but still I liked him a lot, and I still like to listen to his music once in a while, I think he’s very talented, both as a singer and violinist.

Anyway, from me, the enthusiasm for Alexander’s music went further, and infected my little sis Zofijka. Very severely. She could listen to his music like ALL the time, and watch the videos, and stuff. I actually prety much regretted I showed his music  to her because she was talking about him all the time and listening to his music whenever she could which made me quite sick.

Now it has lessened, but she’s still crushing, which doesn’t disturb her to crush on 1D and Justin Bieber at the same time, poor Alexander!

And this song is Zofijka’s most favourite from all the songs by him she knows. Zofijka – as much as she is talented in many other areas – definitely doesn’t have an ear for languages, so her English is quite nasty sounding, and not very communicative, though, well, let’s be honest, hardly any child can communicate effectively in English in 5th grade. But, OMG, if you could hear her singing this song, particularly the refrains… when she really tries, she can have so confusingly Scandinavian accent! Is it our apparent Norwegian roots or what? That’s weird. And very funny.

The song is nice and funny as well, and I was pretty surprised to hear Alexander Rybak singing a children’s song, when I heard it for the first time. It’s really really cool though.

And what else I like about it is that despite I can’t speak Norwegian as such without sounding moe or less fake, I understand pretty much all the lyrics of this song via my Swedish, so easy it is.

The lyrics were written by Thorbjörn Egner, and Alexander sings this song with a Norwegian child band called Superbarna.

I wasn’t able to find English translation of this song anywhere, but I was able to find the original lyrics and I thought I’d challenge myself. I decided to translate these lyrics for you to ENglish so that you can get the context at least.

Because I am not an English native speaker, and I practically don’t speak any Norwegian – I can only understand more or less of Norwegian Bokmål and rather less than more of Nynorsk via my Swedish, I wouldn’t expect this translation to be high quality, I suppose it might have quite a lot of errors, but I hope it will give you at least the context and if you by some chance speak Norwegian and have any comments or fixes do let me know, I hope it’s not too bad though.

So here it is:

 

This is a little animal song that you can now hear

About the animals in Africa and all they do

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

About the animals in Africa and all they do

 

High on the trees grow coconuts and bananas

And there live many noble and fine baboons

 

Ojajaja ahaha, ojajaja ahaha,

There live many noble and fine baboons

 

And the kids are rocked in a palm hammock

And the nanny is a gammal, chatty parrot

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

The nanny is a gammal, chatty parrot

 

The big elephant he is the forest’s firefighter

And when there is fire he quenches it with his long proboscis

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

When there is fire he quenches it with his long proboscis.

 

But the king and the queen are lion and lioness

And the queen is hungry, but the king is so angry

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

The queen is hungry, but the king is so angry

 

On the trees the birds are sitting and singing all day long

And the hippo plays the drum by patting himself on the belly

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

The hippo plays the drum by patting himself on the belly

 

And the ostrich dances samba with the prettiest chimp

And soon all the other animals are also dancing

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

Soon all the other animals are also dancing

 

The big crocodile was feeling so bad the other day

It had eaten a monkey and got such a bad stomach ache

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

It had eaten a monkey and got such a bad stomach ache

 

And down in the Giraffeland there is grief in the waltz

For eight little giraffes had gotten a sore throat

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

For eight little giraffes had gotten a sore throat

 

But then doctor rhino came with a hat, a stick and glasses

And then all of them got cough syrup and black small tablets

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

Then all of them got cough syrup and black small tablets.

 

The poor crocodile doctor had to operate

And there are many verses yet but we can’t anymore

 

Ojaoja ahaha, ojaoja ahaha,

There are many verses yet but I can’t anymore.

Question of the day.

How often did you play outside as a child?

My answer:

Not like very often. I’ve never had good orientation in open spaces plus I’ve learnt to walk pretty late in comparison to most children, and my interests were more indoor-oriented, I’d say. My brother played outside constantly with his cousin, but their things didn’t interest me at all and I never played with them. When I went to the nursery we were often going out to the playground

which was very near. As far as I can remember it was almost every day and it was always extremely boring for me. Children were usually playing on carousels or slides or other stuff like that, which I didn’t like at all because it usually messed up with my already messed up balance and made me dizzy and nauseous extremely easily and I’m still just allergic to such things, probably also because people from the staff were always so very astonished and like it’s not normal I don’t like these things, it made me hate them even more. 😀 So usually I was either vegetating on some milder swing and just waiting for them to finish, or just walking around aimlessly or talking with the staff. When I started going to school they still liked it a lot to go to the playground and we did it often, but then at least I could bring something to read with myself, although it was still boring to just sit there doing practically nothing. When Zofijka was born and grew up a bit, so I was like in my early teens, I liked to play with her outside and it was really fun, although we didn’t do it often.

Question of the day.

If your school separated you by reading groups which level were you at?

My answer:

Neither of my schools did that, or anyway it wasn’t something casual. But in school for the blind where I was for most of my education we often had reading contests – class, school or interschool, in the Central Library, and I kinda liked to participate in them and pretty often was winning some leading places. Also, I don’t know how it is in other schools around the world, but we usually had so, that if we were reading in class, usually the teacher picked a person to read a bit, then another to read another bit and so on, and the rest just followed the text. Because I read quite well, teachers often picked me, just to have it done a bit more efficiently than most of other students would do it and not waste too much time. And I know many of my classmates were annoyed by me, because I usually read pretty quickly and they were lost easily. 😀 Also later on I had a very lazy Polish language teacher who used to take an advantage of the students whom she perceived “more bright” and so she often wanted me to read stuff to a classmate who was dyslexic. So I guess that all says I was pretty good at it.

How was it in your case? Also, do you think separating students by their level of skills is actually good? Are you one of those who think it makes children less self-confident, or do you think it helps children on a higher level to develop quicker, while also helping children on a lower level to go up, but in their own pace and with the support adequate to their needs?

Question of the day.

What do a lot of parents do that screws up their kid?

My answer:

The thing I hate that quite a lot of parents do to their kids is diminishing their problems. Like, a kid comes to them, trusts them and wants to share with them whatever is on their mind, something more or less difficult they feel like they need some support with coming through. And the parent’s reaction is like: “These aren’t problems. You’re just a child, you don’t have serious problems. You’ll start real life and you’ll see what problems really are”. That discourages most kids from confiding in their parents and makes them feel like their struggles aren’t important to their parents and don’t really deserve any attention. Plus, another thing is, so when does “the real life” start? When you get married? Divorced? After you’re 50? 😀 I’m really curious.

Another thing that pisses me off a bit every time I see it is when a child tells the parent about whatever is happening in their life and the parent doesn’t really listen but only wants to give advice, no matter if the child wants it or not.

What are your answers and what do you think about it?

Fffrrreeezzzing!

Yeah it’s really freezing here today. Snowing almost all the time since yesterday and very icy. My gramma whom we invited today for some time to stay with us almost collapsed on the steps when she was coming in, so slippery it is.

So as you know I had an almost sleepless night. Yeah luckily I managed to fall asleep about an hour after I wrote that post in the morning and had a few hours of sleep. It wasn’t very refreshing, but it was definitely something. Otherwise I would probably become very groggy after some time. We all went to the church in the morning. We went there on foot, it is about 7 minutes walk from us till there, so not that very far, but my leg was burning a lot after I got home. It’s shitty, I thought it healed at least a bit. and then my uncle dropped gramma (my Dad’s mum) to us. I was writing a lot with my pen pals. Also I played with Zofijka for a while. At 4 we went to church again, but now by car. Now as it is Lent, there is a special devotion on each Sunday of Lent related to that in Poland, apparently it doesn’t exist in any other Catholic countries, I think its English title would be something like Bitter Lamentations and it is about Christ’s passion and it is sung. We dropped gramma to her house afterwards and did some shopping. Zofijka felt very sleepy early on and she went to bed about 7 PM so very not like her. She wanted me and Misha to be with here so we were as she was falling asleep, she often wants us to be with her before she falls asleep. I told her a story. I don’t usually do that, only sometimes, but she really likes it. Zofijka’s stories are very special. They are about a fictional creature called Jim, which looks like a human, actually like a 10-year-old boy, but he is a Jimosaurus – the last Jimosaurus in the world and is 10000 years old, despite looking so very young and being so child-like. Jim lives in Australia (Zofijka had a slight obsession about Australia when I was making it all up so hence the location) in a little hut in the forest. He’s the king of that forest and all of the animals there can talk obviously. Jim’s best friend is – Plim – a pretty clumsy, forgetful, awkward and sluggish but very kind-hearted and sensitive koala who rules the forest on Jim’s behalf when Jim’s not there and a bit scating, but incredibly loyal bee called Sophie who is very good at cooking and making different curing mixtures and taking care of animals and people. Jim can eat normal people food and he likes it, but it isn’t nutritious for him. Really nutritious food for him is helping people. When he feels hungry, which happens very often, he takes out his binoculars and leather wings and climbs up on the roof of his hut. Then he looks at the whole world and searches for people or any other beings who may need help. If he finds someone to helps, he takes quickly what he needs, sometimes takes Sophie with him if any medical intervention is needed, puts on his wings and flies there. So as you see poor Plim has to be in charge most of the time actually. So Zofijka’s stories are always about different people or animals or plants or even sometimes things that Jim helps. She always says she loves Jim. But she always falls asleep so quickly that I highly doubt he can hear the whole story.